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“You’re supposed to kind of wear the book.” David Macaulay

Wear the book.  Be in the square. Make test books. Do it on tracing paper.

Author illustrator David Macaulay puts words to his latest process in this video shot by fellow author-illustrator Thatcher Hurd for the San Francisco Center for the Book’s recent exhibition,’Once Upon a Book.’

English born, an honors architecture  graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, David Macaulay has delighted the world with his books that look at the inner workings of things — from 16th century caravel sail ships, to grist mills, to  more complex machines like, well, the human body.

He won the Caldecott Medal in 1991  for his book Black and White, of which ALA Booklist said, “It’s a story. It’s a puzzle. It’s a game.”

He’s also received one of those MacArthur Fellowship “genius grants.”

Judging by this video, he also has one of the coolest art studios, anywhere.
I would love to work in there every day.

Thank you, Diandra Mae for sharing the fantastic video clip page from the SFCB site with our Wiggio Children’s Book Illustration Group!

About The Author

Mark Mitchell

Award-winning children's book author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell teaches classes in watercolor and children's book illustration at The Contemporary Art School in Austin, Texas.


  1. Heather Hanlin

    Mark, that whole wearing the book business was hilarious… But a neat way to look at what you can get from making a dummy.

  2. Joy Corcoran

    Great post and video. I like to see that such a fabulous illustrator works on cheap paper to get to the BOOK. Great insight and thanks for sharing.

    • Mark Mitchell

      Thank you, Joy — and thank you for sharing that wonderful Allen Say video with me the other day. I loved it!


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